Recently, a derby friend of mine injured her hand during a scrimmage. Luckily she didn’t break anything, but her fingers were pretty severely bruised and banged up. Was it the Art Hand or the Labor Hand? I asked her. For me, my Art Hand does the drawing, the mousing, the writing, the eating. The Labor Hand does the heavy lifting, the left side of the keyboard, the holding. The Art Hand, she replied. Ugh. Not long after that, I met a fellow female comicker who said she, too, loved derby and wished she could do it.
“Why don’t you?” I asked, prepared to launch into my speech about how if I could learn how to skate and derby, anyone could learn how to skate and derby.
“Because I can’t risk injuring my hand,” she replied, somewhat with an air of “duh” behind it. Oh yeah – that.
I try not to think about impending injury in general where derby is concerned, but specifically not my Art Hand. Besides the fact that I trust all of my day job to my Art Hand, I also trust it with my comic work – paid and unpaid. Now that I’m officially working for a publisher, maybe I should consider that a bit more. Am I being stupid, staying in derby? I try to convince myself that no, people can injure their Art Hand doing any number of things. You could get hit by a car (my coworker did) while crossing the street, fall awkwardly on it while tripping over something in the road, any number of normal every-day activities could result in injury, right? I played volleyball for years and saw my share of breaks and sprains and came out unscathed.
So am I being reckless and unsafe? Maybe. But I love derby and I worked too hard to get here – I’m not giving it up for fear alone. If I have to get injured at some point, my fingers are crossed for a knee injury. A nice, safe knee injury.